Top 5 Popular Best Mutual Funds

Popular mutual funds logo
Popular mutual funds logo

Most people think popularity is one of the most important things in mutual fund investing. Mutual fund investing is another vehicle for investor to invest in various market or sector such as bond or stocks. Stock or equity mutual funds can consist of many different sector such as domestic equity, International equity, and emerging market mutual funds. There are also various specific fund that are targeting certain sector such as dividend driven fund or equity income fund, country fund, region specific fund, commodity fund and more. On Bloomberg article on August 16th week, these top five popular mutual funds are unveil. With the stock market and financial economy in chaos for the past 2 years especially during the period of end of 2008 until early 2009, investors and/or traders have tried to invest in most popular mutual funds as well the cost effective mutual funds. With the stock market drop around 50-80% of value, most bond mutual fund has increase in value. To no one surprise, the most popular mutual fund or best mutual fund is Pimco Total Return. Also, two of index funds from Vanguard also landed in the top five of this list. For complete list the following is top five popular mutual funds:

  1. Pimco Total Return
  2. American Growth Fund of America
  3. Vanguard Total Stock Market
  4. American Europacific Growth-A
  5. Vanguard 500 Index Fund

Comparison of Popular Mutual Funds

(click column header to sort results)
No  
Type  
Fund  
Ticker  
Category  
Provider  
Assets  
Expense Ratio  
Annual Turnover  
Min. Invest  
Beta  
1
Bond
PIMCO Total Return
PTTDX
Intermediate-Term Bond
PIMCO
240B
0.75%
402%
$1,000
0.94
2
Stock
American Growth Fund of America
AGTHX
Large Growth
American Funds
148B
0.75%
38%
$250
0.98
3
Stock
Vanguard Total Stock Market
VTSMX
Large Blend
Vanguard
131B
0.18%
5%
$3,000
1.03
4
Stock
American Europacific Growth-A
AEPGX
Foreign Large Blend
American Funds
97B
0.85%
26%
$250
1
5
Stock
Vanguard 500 Index
VFINX
Large Blend
Vanguard
86.0B
0.18%
12%
$3,000
1
Total Return breakdown
Total Return breakdown

1. Pimco Total Return

To no one surprise Pimco is number 1 in top 5 popular mutual funds. Pimco Total Return has continuously the leader in bond mutual fund and know for best mutual fund. The mutual fund objective is to seek maximum total return, consistent with preservation of capital and prudent investment management. There are various classes for this bond fund whether it is for individual investor or institutional investors. Some may provide better expense ratio and or no load etc. The lead manager is William H Gross also known as Bill Gross since 1987. Bill Gross is a well known bond guru in investing world. He has been provided the best mutual fund for investor. The fund also provide yield for income.

The bond performance is as follows (PTTRX):

  • 1 Year: 12.02% per year
  • 3 Year: 11.27% per year
  • 5 Year: 7.96% per year
  • 10 Year: 7.88% per year

The primary portfolio consist of intermediate term investment grade bond either government bond / treasury, mortgage bond, investment grade corporate bond, high yield corporate bond, emerging markets, municipal bond and other instrument. If you choose this fund, please note that some fund classes have a front end sales load of 3.75%.

This fund is also offered in most 401K fund selection. In my 401k account, I can choose Pimco Total Return with PTTRX ticker. This class of fund doesn’t have any load Front End Sales Load. Other tickers of Pimco Total Return fund are: PTTAX, PTTBX, PTTCX, PTTDX, PMBIX, PTSAX, and PRFAX.

Note: PIMCO is an acronym for The Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC.

Growth Fund of America holding
Growth Fund of America holding

2. American Growth Fund of America

As one of the biggest asset mutual fund, no one will surprise with the popular of this American Fund. The fund objective is to provide growth of capital. It also can invest wherever the best growth opportunities may be (about >65% in common stocks & < 25% foreign stocks). This fund also is being offered in various classes for individual investor or institutional. If you choose this fund, please note that some fund classes have a front end sales load of 5.75%. The fund is managed by James E. Drasdo, lead manager and by portfolio counselor such as Donnalisa P. Barnum, Gordon Crawford, James F. Rothenberg, Gregg E. Ireland et all. This mutual fund also known as gwroth stock mutual fund.

The primary portfolio consists of growth stocks. The top 3 sectors of fund as June 2010 are Oil & Gas energy sector, software technology sector and Metal & mining sector. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, JP Morgan Chase, Barrick Gold, Cisco systems, Union Pacific, Apache, and Suncor.

3. Vanguard Total Stock Market

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market in US stock market (MSCI US Broad Market Index). The fund Invests in more than 3,000 stocks representative of the whole U.S. market. As Typical Vanguard fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market also has a low expense ratio. As a conscious investor, low expense ratio can be a good thing in a long term investment strategy; this means more return for us the investor. The fund is being managed passively by Gerard C. O’Reilly. As typical vanguard fund, this is no load mutual fund as well.

The primary portfolio consists of large cap blend stocks. The top 3 sectors of fund as August 2010 are Technology, Financial and Healthcare sector. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Exxon Mobil, Apple, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, AT&T and Chevron.

American Europacific Growth holding
American Europacific Growth holding

4. American Europacific Growth

American Europacific Growth is one of international mutual fund. The fund’s investment objective is to provide long-term growth of capital. The fund invests primarily in common stocks of issuers in Europe and the Pacific Basin that the investment adviser believes have the potential for growth. It normally invests at least 80% of net assets in securities of issuers in Europe and the Pacific Basin. If you choose this fund, please note that some fund classes have a front end sales load of 5.75%. The fund is managed by a lead manager, Stephen E. Bepler as well as portfolio counselors.

This fund is also offered in most 401K fund selection. In my 401k account, I can choose American Europacific Fund with REREX ticker. There is no front end load for this fund class. Other tickers of American Europacific Growth fund are: AEPGX, AEPCX, AEGBX, CEUFX, CEUCX, RERCX, RERFX, CEUEX, AEGFX, RERAX, CEUBX, REREX, RERGX, CEUAX, and AEPFX.

The primary portfolio consists of large cap foreign growth stocks. As of August 2010, the top 3 sectors of fund as August 2010 are Financial, Healthcare and Energy sector. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include America Movil, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Bayer, UBS, Daimler, Nestle, Roche, and Softbank.

Vanguard 500 Index Fund Overview
Vanguard 500 Index Fund Overview

5. Vanguard 500 Index Fund - VFINX

This is another vanguard mutual fund offering which tracks S&P 500 index. The investment objective is to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization stocks (i.e. large company). As typical vanguard fund, this mutual fund is also a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which is a widely recognized benchmark of U.S. stock market performance that is dominated by the stocks of large U.S. companies. The fund is being managed passively by Michael H. Buek. This is one of no load mutual fund.

The primary portfolio consists of large cap blend stocks. The top 3 sectors of fund as August 2010 are Technology, Financial and Healthcare sector. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Exxon Mobil, Apple, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, AT&T and Chevron.

Where can I buy mutual funds?

Usually you will need mutual fund providers as well as brokerage to buy mutual funds. Most brokerage may offer these mutual funds. Please check the following providers:

  1. Fidelity – one stop shop for mutual fund or ETF as well as cash management banking
  2. Vanguard – offer various mutual funds that track indexes as well as ETF for free
  3. T. Rowe Price – only offer their fund
  4. Scottrade – Offer various mutual funds. 3,000 No load & No Transaction Fees (NTF) fund for free and 15,000 mutual funds as well as trading account for $7.00 per trade. You can buy the American Fund family for free and please select no load fund.
  5. Etrade – Offer various mutual funds as well as trading account
  6. Zecco – Offer various no load mutual funds for $10.00 as well as broker trading account with free 10 trades per month with >$25k balance.

 

Disclaimer

I have no affiliation with any of these mutual funds. I do have positions in PIMCO Total Return fund, American Europacific Growth fund and Vanguard S&P 500 index fund in my 401k account. I may buy and sell at any time. Please do your own research for additional details. Please trade and invest responsibly. Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results

More by this Author


Comments 7 comments

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Very Impressive Financial Information. It is kind of you to share with others who aren't sure how to invest!

Great Hub - Voted Up - Tweeted! Facebooked!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Very Impressive Financial Information. It is kind of you to share with others who aren't sure how to invest!

Great Hub - Voted Up - Tweeted! Facebooked!


fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

Very thorough and impressive financial information for just about anyone. Thank you. Great hub.


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA Author

@Lilly & @Fetty Thanks for your comments!


tonydubon 6 years ago

A problem with popularity and investments is that once an opportunity becomes well known, it often disappears. This is a well known phenomenon in mutual fund investing. In order to understand where your money should go, it can be helpful to compare mutual funds against a benchmark, like the S&P 500. When you make that comparison with these funds, When viewed against the S&P 500 these funds look decidedly lackluster within a 5 year time horizon. VTSAX, REREX, FFINX all returned about the same as the S&P 500, AND they had higher volatility than the S&P 500. PTRRX provided significantly higher returns at lower risk than the S&P 500. The funds look better within a 10 year time horizon, Most of them beating the S&P 500, but one looks less good: AMRAX returned way below the Index, and had much higher volatility. These analyses can be helpful in positioning funds and making your investments. There is a free tool at www.fundreveal.com that you can use to analyze these and other mutual funds.


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA Author

@Tony thanks for your input. I agree no one should take for granted because the fund is popular. Though, I would disagree on your reason. These popular funds are typically because of the fund manager or the fund large asset. Most of the above funds have large asset (> $80billion). This is due to most of these funds are either offered in 401k or pension or IRA etc. Also if you follow Bill Gross, he is one of the bond gurus. His bond fund has consistently beaten the bond index even during the downturn market (2008-2009).

Also comparing above funds to S&P500 index only is definitely not the right way. For instance, the American Europacific Growth consists of international companies from Europe and Pacific. So comparing with S&P 500 is definitely not the right index. You probably want to track this fund with MSCI EAFE index. Also, typically international companies have more volatility than US stocks. I won’t be surprise with higher volatility, though I don’t see a higher volatility for this fund. Also, one should note about fees since the return can be affected by the fees such as front end sales load, expense ratio, management fees etc.

While PTTRX is bond fund so it is typical you will find the volatility is lower than S&P500. You should compare this bond fund with bond index. Though I would be careful before comparing with the bond index since the fund objective is not tracking any index.

However, when you are buying the vanguard funds such as Vanguard Total Stock Market & Vanguard 500 Index Fund, you can expect the return is mimicking the index such as MSCI US Broad Market Index & S&P 500.

I don't recall AMRAX as one of the funds in my article. Did you provide a wrong ticker or did I miss something here?

I hope this information help.


afriqnet profile image

afriqnet 4 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

Very well written and illustrated financial investment hub. I am always attracted to Mutual funds investments and I enjoyed reading every bit of your Hub. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working